Four Texas children died on Monday after breathing in a toxic gas that was accidentally released into their Northeast Amarillo home.
The children, ranging in age from 7 to 17, died in what authorities are calling a “hazmat” incident, KVII-TV reports. Six other people were taken to the hospital and one is believed to be in unstable, critical condition.
Officials said someone sprayed mouse poison pesticides under the home and later tried to wash it away with water. This combination caused a dangerous chemical reaction that created the deadly phosphine gas that the children lived with for up to two days, accorded to the Associated Press.
Authorities responded to a call related to carbon monoxide poisoning at around 5 a.m. They arrived to find the 7-year-old boy unresponsive and unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate home, KVII reports. He died at the scene.
The other minors, ages 9, 11 and 17, died later at the hospital, WJLA reports. All of the victims in the home at the time showed symptoms of poisoning.
Dozens of residents gathered near the home Monday afternoon, holding candles and praying for the victims.
The children’s mother is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, according to WJLA. Their father, along with the four other children, remained in the hospital Monday afternoon.
Officials told WJLA that, “No criminal charges appear to apply at this time.”
Along with the injured, 10 first responders were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure even though they showed no signs of illness, according to the AP.
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